Sanction under consideration for 40000 new pension cases: Sajad Lone

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JAMMU: Minister for Social Welfare, ARI & Trainings and Science & Technology Sajad Gani Lone Monday informed legislative Council that the proposal to sanction 40,000 new old age and other pension cases is under the consideration of Finance Department.
Replying to a question of Yasir Reshi, , the Minister informed that the proposal sent by social welfare department is under the consideration of the finance department.
Legislator Yasir Rishi had sought information about pending old age, widow and handicapped pension cases in the state.
About rising pendency, the Minister said that the state receives a fixed amount from Centre as the scheme is not demand driven and new cases are included only after vacancy arises in the existing numbers.
He said the huge financial implication following the enhancement in monthly pension from Rs 200 to Rs1000 was the main reason for increasing pendency.
The Minister informed that there are more than two lakh old age, handicap and widow pension cases pending in the state including 1,53,699 under Integrated Social Security Scheme and 1,13,991 under National Social Assistance Programme.
Replying to a supplementary question of Saif-Ud-Din Bhat related to Marriage Assistance Cases, the Minister informed that a survey has been conducted by the department to ascertain the number of females eligible under the scheme. The beneficiaries would be given the benefit under the scheme as per the survey, he added.
He further informed that the District Social Welfare Officers have been directed to conduct a fresh survey to include left out deserving girls in the scheme.
MLC Vikram Randhawa also raised a supplementary related to the main question.
Meanwhile, the Minister informed that the State Advisory Board for Development of Pahari Speaking people has received Rs. 1.31 crore for management of Boys/Girls Hostel, Rs 10.00 crore for grant of scholarships to students from Class I to XII and Rs 2.56 crore for post- matric scholarship till ending November 2017.
Replying to a question of Vibod Gupta, the Minister informed that the government is preparing a package to provide benefit to the poorest of the poor living in different parts of the state.
The Minister also informed the House about the report of the Expert Committee on Socio-economic status for conferring ST status to Pahari Speaking Population.
He said that after seeking approval of the State Cabinet, the proposal for grant of ST status to Pahari Speaking People has been referred to Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs for consideration. The matter has also been taken up with the Ministry of Home Affairs for its intervention, he added.
Legislators Zaffar Iqbal Manhas and Ghulam Nabi Monga also raised supplementary questions related to the main question.

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